It’s only 11am and it’s already been an eventful day. I had to write to you.
Part of growing you is that extra hormones are released into my system. Before I was pregnant I cried infrequently, sometimes 3-5x a year. A friend said this wasn’t enough. Regardless, now I can cry weekly and tears seem to migrate to my eyes without warning.
This morning I was walking Harriet and I the oft-present nausea was absent. The humidity was cut from last night’s storm and it was a beautiful 65 degrees. The first ¾ of our walk were sheer bliss and I thought about you somersaulting around in my womb. Then as we turned up North Broadway, a woman dripping with wealth asked me haughtily to refrain from having Harriet pee in the grass because it kills it. I didn’t say the things I initially wanted to because I’m trying to set an example for you of how to respond respectfully even when it’s difficult.
Then we ran into a friend of mine and she was with an older friend. Right away this older woman began engaging with Harriet too closely, even putting her on her back and holding her in a restraint. It was evident Harriet did not like the interaction with this woman, but because I know my friend, I thought perhaps the trust could extend to a stranger. Then when it looked as though Harriet would consider biting this woman, I took Harriet back. The woman said something to the effect of: How can you have a baby if you can’t control your dog into submission? Can’t you see she’s only feeding off of your [bad] energy?
No, I replied, she’s feeding off of a stranger putting her on her back. But as I turned to walk away the tears welled up – surely partly hormone-induced – and I spent the remainder of the walk home crying hysterically with mucus pouring down my face.
What I learned in this situation is that people will continue to offer heaps of unsolicited advice on dogs and advice on raising you, our baby. In each moment I must act with my gut whether that means I smile and nod, disagree respectfully, or walk away. Advocating for you, Harriet, your dad, and any brothers or sisters you may have is my most important priority. I will risk offending anyone to protect you all.
I dried off my face when I got home and began chugging water as I had to go for an ultrasound. The bladder needs to be full to get the best picture. As usual, you were doing gymnastics in my belly. The tech even showed me the entirety of my womb and there you were – in only half of it – with your legs curled over your head. You’re a little womb yogi!
She also confirmed that you’re a girl! I’ve been confirming this to everyone but they wanted to hear it from the professionals. I hear you little one, I know we’ve been communing as we share a body right now.
Your heartbeat was 145 (perfect!) and your anatomy looks great. We’ll go back in 3 weeks before we travel to Spain to see your growth.
I also wanted to share with you a conversation that your dad and I had last night. We were sitting at the table eating the delicious broccoli quiche that your dad made (he’s such a good cook), and we began discussing our static ideals versus the other decisions that will be determined on what you’re like and what the environment is like then.
For example, our static goals are to have dinner at the table together whenever possible, to continue to not have cable television, to not have a TV in any of our rooms, and for the entire family to leave their phones charging in the kitchen at night and not bring them into our bedrooms. We also will not use physical punishment for you ever, but we will discipline you when necessary (I know you’re too little and cute to even think about that now). We will continue to eat meals that emphasize veggies and we will not shy away from sharing our belief systems with you. Your dad and I don’t find personal benefit in organized religion, and we’ll explain this to you in more depth, but we respect whatever decision you come to. We hope you give similar respect to anyone who does have religion in their life.
Some of the ideals that we’ll to figure out in time are how & when we integrate technology and how we go about introducing holidays.
I’ve been compiling photos of my pregnancy for you and I’ll put them in a moleskine journal that your Uncle Jeff and Aunt Claudia gave us.
The nurses at my job keep telling me that we should read to you every night, so get ready for your first Dr. Seuss book, coming soon. If possible, maybe you could give me a little tap or some movement from inside the womb to let me know if you like the book.
I love you,